Friday, May 30, 2014


Friendship, Maine 2013
Deadline looming so I should get going on the major construction bits still to be completed. I think I am finally done fiddling with the photos. Here is the original photo, and the print on fabric, embellished with thread, colored pencil and glitter. For all the time I put into enhancing this photo, I hope the finished piece is dramatic enough without going over the top. I don't think I am in danger of going over the top though--my issue is generally too much attention to details that no one but me ever notices! The flowers are thread-painted. Foliage, chairs, even the water and sky are hand colored with Prismacolor pencils. I added glitter to the water to mimic the effect of sunlight bouncing off the surface--it is blinding in person, standing on the shore squinting at the water--I'd love that effect to come through. If I can get this quilted this weekend, I think I have a shot at finishing the binding, label and hanging sleeve before the June meeting. Onward!
Friendship, Maine photo on fabric

Monday, May 26, 2014

Threadpainting the Day Away

Threadpainted Letters
Memorial Day Weekend was quieter than expected. We cancelled our BBQ because my husband came down with a nasty cold so we were hanging out at home. Which suited me well enough, as it gave me time to make progress on the challenge quilt. Here is a shot of the background.

I probably figured out the most tedious way possible to get words on this background. About half way through I thought, "most people are going to look at this and assume I used an embroidery machine to make the letters." But no. I went super old school. Printed words on tracing paper, cut and arranged them on the background. Held the paper in place with a little spray glue (the same 505 I use to baste my quilts) and outlined each word free motion, then tore away the paper, filled in each letter with variegated thread, then on to the next word. And, because I didn't have enough of the variegated thread I started with, I bought a second, slightly different thread, and randomly changed threads at various points along the way.

My first thought was that I wanted the words to be truly in the background. I layered the quilt with batting and backing before starting the letters. About a third of the way through I decided I'd rather have the letters not sink in so far. So, I separated the batting and backing and pinned it out of the way, pinned a tear away stabilizer behind the quilt top and went back to work, outlining and filing in each word. I would not normally switch techniques like that mid-quilt. I wonder how noticeable it will be in the final analysis? Whether it turns out to be horribly noticeable, neutral, or a brilliant design decision won't matter though. If it is a challenge, I decided I must be unafraid to experiment.

In the spirit of this piece, that started with a title and dimensions and has taken shape as I've gone along, I still have several technical issues to solve before it will be complete. I wish I could say it was going to be magical when it gets done, but this one has its own ideas!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

New Work

Friendship, Maine 2013
Life sometimes gets in the way of keeping up with my blog--when time is short, I'd rather be quilting than blogging! Things are hopefully settling down for a bit.

At the Art Quilts Maine meeting in April, I had to submit the title and dimensions of my challenge piece for this year's challenge: "Ocean, Lake, River, a piece inspired by a body of water." We've known what the challenge was since September, but all I knew in April was that my piece would be inspired by this photo. So, I gave it a name and came up with dimensions, and have spent the last month creating the quilt to go with the size and title. Working backwards did add to the challenge! It's not done yet, but it is coming along--hopefully will have it ready to go for the June meeting, when we are to reveal the quilts. Along the way my initial design idea completely morphed, but it is still true to the submitted name. That's what I'm working on. I also think I know how I am going to finally finish Honu--which I will exhibit at Maine Quilts in July, so that's on the back burner.

I've been invited to do a trunk show at Fort Johnson in upstate New York--alongside a display of historic quilts. I am looking forward to that! I plan to bring my quilt pins along in case people want to purchase something that day--I think I'll call them 'Quiltini's'. More classes on the horizon as well, including one in Trenton, about two-an-a-half hours north, but it comes with the offer to stay at the store owner's camp, a little side adventure. I'll send out an announcement as soon as dates are confirmed.

Now back to quilting!